The Christmas season is upon us! It’s a time for faith, family and traditions to come together in celebration of the birth of Jesus. The traditions that we have made as a family over many Christmas seasons, may one day become our legacies. With that said, my greatest hope is that our family will carry on in the faith, and share the truth of Jesus, throughout every generation to come! Together, may we proclaim the gospel of Luke 2:14; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”
As for me, weeks of decorating and preparing are necessary, and though it’s sometimes tiring, it’s also worth it! It’s my favorite time of the year! My eagerness to begin in early November, typically has me counting down the days until the decor can come out. I’m almost giddy as I bring out the boxes that have been carefully stored away for so long.
It’s almost like I am opening Christmas gifts early as I begin to pull things out of boxes one by one.
My excitement builds as I go along. Special memories are tied to much of the decor, and has me reminiscing of times gone by.
It’s all the more special if the children help me, because then I can enjoy their expressions and enjoy their comments too! No doubt, if you were hiding in a corner somewhere and could observe this process, you would see the joy on our faces. It’s not just the items themselves that is responsible for these joyful moments.
Instead, it is the evidence of all the years of family togetherness, laughter and fun! All memories that I cherish and hope to never forget.
God’s faithfulness is tangible and it surrounds me, as thankfulness flows easily from my heart for His faithfulness to us all.
Collecting Personalized Ornaments is a Favorite Tradition
I began collecting ornaments the year my first child was born. The tradition now encompasses 29+ years, and has resulted in a lot more ornaments than one tree can hold.
At first, I did a couples ornament for myself and my husband, then one for each child with the year. As the years passed however, that has grown to include ornaments for much more! These hold decades of memories, names and combinations of names. Honestly, finding family ornaments big enough to hold all the names is getting to be very difficult. Luckily, we located one this year!
As you can imagine, the number of ornaments abounds! Decorating intentions begin with thoughts of having enough trees to display them all, but sadly that hasn’t happened yet.
Nevertheless, there’s joy in shifting through them, to select different ones to display. Every single one has a story to tell, reminders of each child at specific ages. In most cases, they will be in regards to a sport, hobby or life event from that particular year.
More often than not, I almost envision the kids running around to find their special ornaments. In my mind’s eye, I recall the seriousness of the searches, the changing of their minds several times along the way, and finally finding the perfect one!
As they grew up, we all looked forward to our trips to The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where many of our ornaments were purchased. Honestly, we enjoyed looking through the rooms of decor, wishing we could take it home with us! I sure do miss those times!
As the years have passed, I have always hoped that the children would carry on their own traditions in this way. So far, the married ones are collecting their own ornaments, and I’m thankful that as they do this each year, they’ll be reminded of their childhood, and sweet memories of home.
Traditions Will Become Legacies if We Honor Them
Maybe ornament collecting will be part of my legacy as I mentioned earlier, not just tradition? Maybe they will share this throughout the generations, and reminisce of the generations that came before them.
My hope is that each of our children will one day take their own ornaments from home, and treasure them as I have.
If there is one thing that I hoard, it is Christmas collectibles and decor. It’s not just ornaments by any means. There are nativity scenes, snow covered churches, signs that remind us that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” reindeers, santas, snowmen and more! There is no possible way for me to display it all at this point, but I can hardly bear to part with a lot of it either.
Jesus is Always in My Heart
Some may be thinking that this is a strange thing to post about, no doubt. However, as I sit to enjoy the decor surrounding me, these are the thoughts that are on my mind. Who’s to say that sharing our traditions, might not inspire someone else to start some of their own.
Truthfully, I’m sure that my age contributes to my desire to take it all in! Reflecting on memories has a way of reminding me of just how rapidly time passes by!
Traditional things are important to me, and if it is important to me, it is important to God also. He knows my heart, and knows that I love Christmas.
God also knows that as much as I love my collections of decor and traditions, “I Love Jesus More!”
We have instilled the importance of faith in our family, and will always strive to continue to do so!
This is the time of year to think of Jesus, and be thankful for God’s plan to save us from our sins. God loved us enough to send His one and only son to this earth to become our Savior!
Jesus is the best gift we could ever give or receive, and I hope you and your family know that too!
My hope is that if you asked any one of my family members about me, they could easily clarify that I love Jesus, I love Christmas, and I love them! There is no greater legacy than that. Believing that they know these things about me personally is of the utmost importance, because it is how I choose to be remembered!
Christmas is the Season for Generosity to Abound
No matter how you celebrate the season, I pray that you will be able to carry on your treasured traditions. Without a doubt, it can get extremely difficult to hold onto traditions long enough for them to become legacies. Families grow, expand and move around. It’s understandable, and necessary to shift and change things to accommodate the needs of all concerned.
The importance of traditions being carried on requires genuine effort. Let’s be generous, and mindful of the thoughts of others and their traditions, as we endeavor to hold onto those most dear to us.
It requires putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes sometimes, in order to find ways to make things work. The effort is worth it!
Christmas is truly a time to give of ourselves, our time, our talents, our words, and our faith. Be generous! Look for ways to bless others, and share Jesus! The season is a reason to be more like Jesus, and it’s the center of it all!
Here’s a great example: We received a gift from someone special today and I included it in the first picture of this post. Knowing that this person took the time to stitch this with thoughts of us in mind, is just precious! What a thoughtful and generous way to use her gifts and talents to touch lives! Thanks Grandma Bedenbaugh! We will treasure it!
Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and there’s nothing more important than that!